I couldn't figure out why a level of frustration and despair had risen to a new level in our home recently. Was I losing my mind? Were the kids really that bad? Was I becoming the parent I never wanted to be? What was happening in the life I had always dreamed of having and actually had? Why wasn't motherhood manifested in more blessings than burdens? Why was I so weary?
These honest questions were on my mind as I woke up early one Monday morning. I determined to make this week better than the week previously had been.
So. I forsook my bed. I forsook the phone. I forsook the computer. I forsook all my preconceived plans and determined to just do what needed to be done to keep peace in my home. I forsook everything that, you know, busy mothers really shouldn't do when they have small children.
And then Janae got up. That was fine until the baby got up. Even that was fine until Landon got up. And then disaster struck.
Just so you know, I have a confession to make. I had taken a short shower. I know. That was bad and selfish of me. But, I guess I really just thought it was a good idea at the time. For a brief 10 minutes, I splurged in warm, clean water. I don't mean to be defensive or anything but while I was in the shower, I really tried not to be too selfish. I had Janae come in the bathroom and play on the floor with her toys. Landon wasn't yet up and the baby was secure in his swing. So, it should've been alright, right?
It wasn't. It was as if the walls of this house heard the shower as their cue and said, "Look at that girl run off to the bathroom like that! Let's get her before she has too much fun." That short shower was the only extra thing I did. Seriously. I had poured a cup of coffee earlier and didn't get to even sip it until 2 hours later.
At the dusk of my destructive shower, Alex began crying for his second breakfast and for his diaper to be changed. Landon woke up bawling because his groin area hurt from a fall he had sustained the night before in the bathroom while using the toilet. (don't ask... I have no idea how it happened.) Janae decided that right then was a good time to throw a fit.
I wasn't even dry let alone dressed yet. Who do I help first?
As I groped around for my clothes (read, house coat), I began to fill the tub for Landon to have a warm bath in hopes that would soothe his soreness. Janae wanted a bath too. Alex's diaper was oozing into the new outfit he had on. Landon didn't want a bath and declared that thoroughly through his tears. Janae wanted to watch Landon take a bath (read, get wet playing in water) and declared that thoroughly through tears. Alex needed his diaper changed and was starving and declared that thoroughly through tears.
Where do I start?
I quickly pulled my clothes on, stepping into my underwear while walking out the room. Couldn't waste anytime, you know. Nothing like killing two birds with one stone.
I finished the tub and got the boy in.
I changed Alex's diaper.
I washed the poopy clothes out in the bathroom sink.
I listened to Alex screaming in our room.
I listened to Janae throwing a fit because she couldn't have a bath.
I secured Janae in her room.
I found the baby and started to feed him.
For a few seconds, no body was crying! I couldn't believe it.
Meanwhile, the kitchen was a mess with dirty dishes stacked from the day before. I couldn't start breakfast until they were put in the dish washer. I couldn't put the dirty dishes in the dish washer until the clean dishes were unloaded from the dish washer and put away. And I couldn't do that until the baby was fed.
So, to all you people out there who think that motherhood is only baby lotion, cuddles and kisses and at it's worst, a few poopy diapers, I am sorry to burst into your dream and be the first to admit that it's actually a little different than that. If you don't understand, that's fine. Not even spellchecker knows about poopy diapers but "poopy" really is a word. Just so you know, I love being a mom. But, I am learning that loving it is a lot different than I thought it would be. I love things that I never even knew existed.
Like the joy of coming out to the kitchen and letting Janae empty the dish washer. She has so much fun that I have to stop her when it's empty; she'd reload and re-stack all day if I let her. Or the joy of kissing my little boy goodnight and having him ask me to stay in his room for a little bit so we can talk about the moon some more. Or, even the joy of getting up in the middle of the night to get a baby from his swing and tuck him in bed with me so he can nurse.
It did me good this morning to realize that having 3 little people living with me, all under my care and all age 3 and under is like living 3 lives at once. Plus living my life too. It just takes a lot of work and concentration. It's hard to think of everything that I must do in a day, let alone everything a 2 year old will try to get done. I am the kind of person that hates leaving things undone so it's hard to let one thing go just because I'm too busy to finish it. No wonder why I feel so weary.
A good friend asked me recently if I feel like I babysit all day long. Actually, I don't. I feel like I save lives all day long. I'm a Lifesaver, not a Babysitter. I couldn't count how many times I've walked in on somebody on the brink of killing themselves (unintentionally) or finding someone just seconds away from permanently brain damaging their brother.
And then there's the laundry that perpetually threatens to grow mold and mildew. Or the dishwasher that always needs to be emptied/loaded/emptied/etc. Or the dining room floor that must literally grow spots on the carpet. (carpeted dining rooms should be illegal). Or the sheets that always get peed on the morning after they were changed. Or the toilet that never-endingly needs to be cleaned. Or the meals that are almost forgotten to be made. Or.... you get my point.
I don't want to sound like I have answers or anything because I don't have any. The only thing I can conclude right now is that I need to sign off here and put my baby to bed before he starts bursting windows from the decibel of his voice. He was sitting here fine until I got to the end of that last paragraph. That's how mother hood is though... it never stays the same. As soon as you think you have the answers, it throws you for a loop.
Like just now, the baby got quiet and so did Janae. I caught her just in time before she bit the baby's toes. Just for the fun of it. She wasn't mad or anything. I guess his toes just looked too good to not eat.
For me, the hardest thing about motherhood is realizing the challenge that the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world. I'm rocking 3 cradles right now... what will this world come to?